Travel Talk

Fishing at Watson’s Mill in Manotick, Canada


Today we’re going to discuss a less than eventful fishing expedition of sorts to the the Manotick Mill aka Watson’s Mill in Manotick, Ontario, Canada. This is one of those areas where it’s kinda “fun for the family” but also fun for the fishermen if so inclined and willing to get a little bit wet.  It’s one of those areas where there are always lots of young families checking out the mill, the locks and whatnot.  Oh yeah… Some say Watson’s Mill is haunted but that’s a discussion for another day and maybe another blog, right?

A friend of mine who likes all things country had the idea to go fishing and fishing we went. I’ve been fishing in this area for years now as it provides some good game not far from downtown Ottawa. The Mill is located on the Rideau River which is home to some of the best fishing in the region. The Rideau River hosts the following species: bass, catfish, walleye, pike, perch, musky, whitefish and what else do you need? It’s actually near this mill that a friend of mine who comments here called “Flips” landed a musky which is known as the “fish of 10,000 casts”, true story.

We like to fish under the bridge which is nearby and not that hard to get to. The hard part is getting from shore to under the supports of the bridge. You need to cross some fairly fast moving and at times deeper than you’d like water. It’s also ridden with smooth rocks which become prime time for algae and sets the scene for epic slips. That said, once you’re under the bridge, everything is cool. You’ve got two spots at the end which usually get sun and the middle is well protected from the rays.

We got there at about noon yesterday and fished until 7pm. I caught a small whitefish and an even smaller bass, woohoo. My friend caught a decent large-mouth bass so it was not all a waste of time. That brings me to an important thought though, when fishing what you catch is secondary. Fishing is one of those activities where the act of just being there is the reward. It’s one of those activities where you can really just relax while still technically doing something, similar to golf actually.

What makes fishing so fun and relaxing is that you’re surrounded by nature without a care in the world and if a fish bites, it’s a bonus. It’s often hard to believe how fast you can get into what feels like deep country only kilometers from the nation’s capital of Ottawa. In fact, most of Ontario is like this and when you couple that with the different species of fish inhabiting the waters, it quickly becomes a destination for fishing. I know this is about fishing but for every fishing spot like the one we’re discussing here, there is a golf course or two nearby.

In closing, it’s Father’s Day so a big tip of the hat to all the dad’s out there, especially mine.

Tips hat,

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